Archive for the mandala Category

illuminated mask mandala

Posted in art, drawing, mandala, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2017/05/18 by greenteadoodles

illuminating mask mandala

Well, this rendering was a bit experimental but in the end I think it worked. For one thing, usually I pick a point outside of the circle as the light source but this time, the light radiates from the centre. It gives the whole a sort of camp-fire-lit feeling which I like a lot. At the same time, it is pretty strange and eerie!

Tom caught the feeling and brought a deep poetic truth to it. Here is his amazing poem for this mandala.

We are your faces, lit by firelight
    Finely tuned to captivate emotion
    Gazing inward, turning back to night
    Circling the flame's eternal motion
 We are your faces, waiting for a time
    When you will wear us out in light of day
    Speaking through us, trying to be kind
    Or angry, sad, bemused... some other way
 We are your faces, we know who you are
    When you take us off as darkness falls
    Above the lighted circle distant stars
    Wheel across the sky at curfew's call.
 We are your faces, masking you from pain
 We are your faces, speaking in your name

image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe

expressive mask mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, mandala, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2017/05/05 by greenteadoodles

expressive mask mandala

Well, this has to be one of the stranger mandalas I have done so far! It started with an idea about six faces integrated and separated by the Celtic knots. The last thing to be added were the six small faces. I am not sure what they represent – one’s conscience? ancestors? descendants? imps? There may be no single meaning to the various faces and expressions so the viewer can overlay their own meaning.

Here’s Tom’s poetic take on it which took a darker, allegorical turn.

Subtleties of secular expression
each in opposition to the other
balancing the soul’s intense progression
’round the stations of my truest lover:
steady, saddened, joyous, shocked, concerned.
contemplative of her soul’s possession
of a body ruffed by wreathen ferns
wondering at time’s unchecked succession.
Anger fading to annoyance then
acceptance, understanding, contemplation,
wryly knowing all that one may ken
of the centre’s subtle conflagration.
The mystery of mysteries remains
Yet still we stand, defending life’s domain.

image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe

spring lake edge mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, flowers, mandala, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2017/04/27 by greenteadoodles

spring lake edge mandala

As usual the colour really transforms the black and white mandala. The palette for this one was particularly spring-y with the greens and purples. I almost lost the minnows but you can still see them swimming in the shallows. 🙂 Makes me want to take a ramble down to the lake’s edge and see if the blue flags are blooming yet!

Tom wrote another special sonnet for this water-coloured version. Once again the poetry brings out a shared yet different vision together making a complete piece of art.

there is an island in the empty sea
its shores awash with waves from distant climes
overcoming reefs to strike the lee
crashing up against a wall of time
through the coastal swamp to higher ground
through the jungle toward the living centre
through the wilding spaces that astound
through the gates where only lovers enter
to the secret hiding at the core
where flowers grow within a tangled thicket
opening to all the world and more
guarded by a knot of wicker pickets
at the centre motion comes to rest
lovers laugh at time’s uncertain jest

image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe

water’s edge weavings mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, flowers, mandala, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2017/04/24 by greenteadoodles

water’s edge weavings

The ink stage is finished for the latest mandala. This one was inspired by the blue flags that are a typical spring flower where I grew up. They are beautiful and somewhat rare in my experience finding their place right on the edge between the rocks of the Canadian Shield and the water of the lake. As with most of the mandalas I have been drawing, there are embedded Celtic knots and at least one animal playing off the symmetry – in this case three minnows and a dragonfly.

Tom has written a beautiful sonnet that echoes and deepens the image.

rippled lobes that move forever outward
curving through the waters of the form
spars that bend beyond the point of breaking
yet still hold together through the storm
knots entwined in paradoxes folding
over depths concentrically excited
spherical harmonics tessellating
surfaces by shadow now ignited
into beauty changelessly in motion
always fixed but never standing still
echoing the memory of an ocean
deep beneath where silence drinks its fill

a universe encompassed in a jewel
by the water’s edge: a forest pool

image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe

summer lattice mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, flowers, mandala, painting, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2017/04/06 by greenteadoodles

summer lattice mandala

I am quite pleased with how the richness of the colours came out. The orange comes forward and the magenta recedes enhancing the layered effect.

You may have noticed that the titles of the mandalas change after they have been painted. The names come to me as I am working and the effect of the colour on this one for me was to shift from the general feeling of meadow to a meadow in full summer. Guess I am looking forward through this rainy spring weather …or maybe looking back to one of those perfect childhood summer days.

As usual, Tom has seen things and expanded the image through his poetic response. This one is particularly magical! Love it – thanks Tom! 🙂

high summer fields at rest beneath the sun
dry weltering cicadas buzzing deep
curving pigtails flouncing round in fun
then hiding ‘neath the flowers, knapping sleep
in shards from solid summer afternoons
safe amidst the purple leaves and sedge
upon the sandy soil that hides the runes
writ in burrows down the lattice hedge
writ by rabbits wise in meadow ways
writ with knowledge sinking to the centre
stretching out to touch the turning days
opening the gates and letting enter
all the truth that cannot just be spoken
of the wheel that turns and won’t be broken

image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe

meadow lattice mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, mandala, poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2017/03/31 by greenteadoodles

meadow lattice mandala

This piece started as an idea about butterflies and evolved into something else where the monarch butterfly is just clinging on to the periphery. The shifts in the scale of the lattice help create different possibilities of interpretation. There are subtle asymmetries in the pattern that I decided to embrace as the mandala developed.

Tom has written a sonnet for this mandala that somehow matches it and brings out nuances that I was not consciously aware of! He says, “Lots of abstract evocative stuff in this, like the image itself. I see shield-like elements to it, as well as a welcoming landscape, and more besides.”

Round the turning wheel’s asymmetry
curling curves protect the leaves of grass
Darkling centre from a bygone century
carved in ancient wood and pinned with brass
Missing moments, arms outstretched to bridge
improvised extensions far from home
Fingers reaching, touching, just a smidge
of butterfly is needed to be known
Starlight staggers, stuttering delights
dappling dark desires with softer shadows
Earthlight filters down through lattice lights
touching summer fields no longer fallow
Between the petals mysteries await
Ungentle Love disturbs the course of Fate

image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe

peace rose mandala…

Posted in art, drawing, flowers, mandala, painting with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2017/03/20 by greenteadoodles

peace rose mandala

My grandfather used to grow peace roses. They are lovely colours ranging from cream to peach to almost orange with the petal edges darker. Their distinctive scent can take me right back to my childhood visiting that rose garden.


peace rose mandala detail

Even though many of the colours used are tone on tone, they bring out the various layers of the ink drawing that may have been difficult to see in the black and white version …and the playful ladybugs add another element of life to the composition.

Here is Tom’s wonderful new sonnet for the colour version of this mandala.

moments as the compass slowly turning
through the seconds, minutes, daylight hours
then beneath the midnight sky while burning
candles light the lattice of the flowers
with glowing fire until the dawn’s soft touch
ignites the luminosity within
signaling the day’s return and much
to do as all our future yesterdays begin
joyously amidst the flaming blossoms
while the busy ladybugs meander
through the leaves in search of treasures awesome:
some succulent surprise or fine philander
to pass the days in pleasuring bestowments
of joy upon each other while the moments

image (c) 2017 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2017 Tom Radcliffe